As the summer winds down, it is time for the tile industry to gear up for trade show season. Before we know it, Cersaie and Total Solutions Plus (TSP) will be upon us. And this year, The International Surface Event (TISE) East in Miami joins the lineup of events.

While most of us were vacationing over the summer months, manufacturers of tile and installation products have been working on their latest developments to introduce at the various tile exhibitions coming up. Larger formats and thinner thicknesses are becoming more standard in today’s newest tile collections, and manufacturers of installation products are working to develop new lines that meet the specific demands of each type of tile.jenn2013_body.jpg

Additionally, with the various sizes and thicknesses currently being offered, it is important to have a proper installation. Industry experts are working to develop new standards. At TSP, which will take place in San Antonio this October, Eric Astrachan, executive director of the Tile Council of North America (TCNA), will speak about the progress that has been made towards new manufacturing and installation standards and the issues under consideration.

TSP will also offer attendees other educational seminars led by leading industry professionals. These sessions provide valuable information for those in the tile industry, as well as allowing them to network with their peers. To read more about what to expect at TSP, read the preview beginning on page 42 of this issue of TILE.

TISE East, which will be making its debut in October, will also offer an extensive educational program. I had the chance to talk with Aime Gilmore, show director, to find out some reasons for launching an East Coast exhibition and what some of the show highlights will be. You can see what she had to say starting on page 46.

It is evident that education is a top priority in the tile industry. With the popularity of the Advanced Certifications for Tile Installers (ACT) program, as well as the ongoing need for additional craft skills to be assessed, the ACT Steering Committee has commissioned two additional tests: Grouts and Thin Porcelain Tile (TPT). Scott Carothers, executive director of Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF), and TILE’s technical writer, outlines the new ACT Grouts test in this issue’s Technical Focus, beginning on page 30.

As you can see, there has been a lot going on in the tile industry, and many things to look forward to this fall. Our staff will be attending all three of the tile events mentioned, and we will be sure to report back to you.  Look for full show reviews, including product round-ups, in upcoming issues of TILE. Also, we will be posting live from each show to our website. You can visit to read about show updates, view product introductions and watch video of product demonstrations.